Result : WIN 8-1 vs Team Bath Buccaneers U18
Match Report : Joergen Jaehnig
Goal Scorers: Barney Collier (2), Daman Bansal (2), Oscar Prior (2), Sam Ziff and Ruben Straat
Semifinal day it was at Southgate and the stage was set with beautiful sunshine, a packed balcony and with Team Bath Buccaneers an opposition of the highest calibre. From the get go, the boys in red came out the blocks like Usain Bolt in an Olympic final and those delayed due to matchday traffic on Snakes Lane would not only miss the PB but also the first couple of goals of the match. 3rd minute, Vivek Dongha winning the 50/50 and the Southgate Attacking express started gathering speed for the first time: Barney Collier set up Giles Woodland for a shot the opposition GK could just about save and the rebound was nicely put away by Oscar Prior. 1-0 to the gate and even nicer goals should follow, one of which shortly after in the 5th minute. A beautiful combination involving Barney Collier, Giles Woodland, Jackson Trathen and again Barney Collier, saw Daman Bansal square the ball for Oscar Prior to tap in at the far post for his second of the match.
More chances would follow in quick succession but it was the 13th minute when Luke had to change the numbers on the scoreboard again. Penalty corner and whilst the B&B goal keeper just about managed to save a reverse stick rocket from Lucas Jaehnig, he had no chance when Ruben Straat converted the rebound. 17th minute and Luke started becoming the busiest person on the pitch: the Southgate steam train was rolling again and Noah Lavy selflessly squared the ball to Sam Ziff for another open goal tap in. 4-0 was the new figure on the scoreboard…. In fact a few minutes later 5-0. Daman Bansal rounded the keeper to score what should be his first of the match.
Having described all attacking heroics so far, in the meantime Sam Marshall, Josh Chandler, Lucas Jaehnig, Aman Chhaya and Ruben Straat kept the backline tidy and the opposition mostly out of the circle. And on those few occasions Bath Buccs managed to have a shot, well there was still Veysal “The Cat” Demir. Eventually though they managed to score what should prove to be a consolation goal in form of an unstoppable penalty corner. That however should not stop the boys in red from finishing off a blistering first half in style. Daman Bansal winning the ball in our own half, Noah Lavy setting up Oscar Prior who also selflessly squared back to Daman to increase the score to 6-1. Before the halftime whistle could finish off this crowd pleaser, it was time for Barney Collier to reward himself by nailing a reverse stick shot into the top right corner. Luke happily pressed the home team’s scoreboard button again.
Highlights of the second half: a few more chances, a green card, great patience passing the ball around the back (and potentially lulling the umpires to sleep), a spectacular aerial, a missed penalty flick, and the last goal of the match to mark the final result 8-1 – Jack Levene and his relentless energy winning the ball in the circle and Barney Collier converting the rebound to mark his second of the match. With that also Luke was relieved off his scoreboard duty.
Special thanks to Neil Prior and Dave Plummer for umpiring this match, Alistair for the tagging the match and Luke Collier for stepping in as manager in addition to his duty as scoreboard manager.
Lastly, the loyal fanbase on the balcony has been amazing again and it makes a huge difference to the boys when having such great support.
As a few of you seem to have become U18 Boys season ticket holders, we hope to see as many of you as possible at the National Final in Reading on April 3rd (Pushback 13.15h). Front Row seats are reserved.